Germany is one of the largest investors in Lithuania and the export levels of Lithuanian products to Germany are also increasing consistently, therefore Lithuanian and Lithuanian-based international companies need experts who can demonstrate high multilingual and intercultural competences. In the increasingly popular intercultural training events participants often mention problems related with coping with intercultural interactions and communicative situations, both during the in-house specialist meetings as well as during complex intercultural, often multilingual, negotiation discussions.
In the present study multilingual intercultural business negotiation will be analyzed using examples of a selected multilingual conversation with the focus on the structure and functions of Code Switching. The evaluation of the authentic audio material and the determination of the type of conversation “business negotiations” was based on the view that this is a communication situation in which the participants want to reach an agreement based on different objectives (“A has a goal X, X is controlled by B”; “a sales talk becomes a negotiation if one participant tries to connect the sale with other goals of the interactants”; Wagner 1995, in: Brünner 2000:150).
In the first step of the analysis the structure of the selected conversation needs to be established in order to determine whether the goal (or the partial goal) of the conversation is achieved. This also involves determining the multilingualism structure through which the discussion goal is achieved, such as the number of language changes. Following the sequence of language changes, it will be microanalytically investigated as to who changes the language locally, in which way and for what purpose, i.e. what special purpose the respective local language change serves against the background of the general discussion goal, thus, which institutional or intercultural contextualization hints are realized (Apfelbaum, Meyer, 2010). The aim is to determine how the participants help each other to achieve the overarching goal of the conversation through different types of language changes.
The sample analysis refers to the theoretical-methodological approaches of Schegloff, Kallmeyer, Blom, Gumperz, Arminnen, Günthner, Auer, etc., whereby a special importance is attached to studies that deal with language change especially from the point of view of conversation analysis (Blom and Gumperz, 1972; Gumperz, 1982; Auer, 1984; David, 2003; Auer and Eastman, 2010).
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